Motivation Monday: 4 Inspirational BoJack Horseman Quotes


One of the realest series I’ve ever watched is a cartoon about a washed-up television star. Who is also an anthropomorphic horse.

BoJack Horseman is a comedy, albeit a dark one. It delves into topics that are an antithesis to its lighthearted character designs: depression, narcissism, social and familial dysfunction, the many flavors of addiction, and death. Just to name a few.

The brilliant writers of BoJack Horseman have dealt with these sensitive issues with much care and honesty. As a result, the show is more than a biting satire of Hollywood — it’s a source of excellent advice, especially for those who are embroiled in their own personal struggles. I can speak from experience, as BoJack Horseman has inspired me in times when I’ve been down.

If you’re in need of some motivation, look to these 4 BoJack Horseman quotes to get you going (minor spoilers ahead):


BoJack Season 2 Finale

Every day it gets a little easier. But you have to do it every day. That’s the hard part.

One of season two’s running gags featured a runner (…delayed laugh) who would occasionally be seen outside of BoJack’s home trying to run up an incline with much difficulty. Throughout the course of the season, the old man gradually increases his stamina, and by the season finale, he can jog up the hill with ease. He catches a winded BoJack — who is now trying to conquer the incline himself — and offers the defeated star his words of encouragement.

The quote can be applied to either a specific situation (like learning a new skill) or life at large (dealing with a string of bad luck). If it’s hard today, it’ll be less hard tomorrow, provided that you don’t stop trying. No, it won’t always be easy, especially if things aren’t going as you had planned, but seeing it through will reap more benefits than giving up.


BoJack Horseman Movie Star Speech

Okay. Carolyn, you are the star of a movie. This is the part of the movie where you get your heart broken. Where the world tests you, and people treat you like shit. But it has to happen this way. Otherwise, the end of the movie, when you get everything you want, won’t feel as rewarding. There are assholes out there, but in the end, they don’t matter. Because this movie’s not about them. It’s never been about them. All this time, the movie’s been about you.

Despite how Rutabaga Rabitowitz appears at the end of season two (pathetic, manipulating scumbag), his Movie Star Speech is fantastic. The recipient of this advice is Princess Carolyn, who is questioning why she even bothers to do anything remarkable if nobody cares enough to acknowledge it.

This is a situation in which many people can relate. You work your face off and the return is meager, if non-existent. People put you down or leave you behind at the worst possible times. However, the adversity will not only make you a stronger person, but also sweeten the taste of your eventual victory. Think to some of your favorite films where the protagonist went through hell and back before arriving at the top of the world by the end. Didn’t it feel much more satisfying for you, as a viewer, to see it play out like that? Exactly.


BoJack Horseman it's not too late

It’s never too late to be the person you want to be. You need to choose the life you want.

In this Peanuts-themed drug hallucination, Diane lends a desperate BoJack these uplifting words when he asks if it’s too late for him to become someone who is happy and loved by many. This scenario plays out much differently in the real world, however, when BoJack confronts Diane with the same question and she’s left speechless.

Ignoring that it’s a product of a hedonistic binge, it’s still terrific advice. How many people have been willing to try something new or make a significant change in their lives, only to be held back by the notion that their time to do it has passed? Time is a restraint people impose on themselves. It’ll only be too late when you’re on your deathbed, wishing you had the gall to try the things you wanted when you were still healthy and able. Don’t become the person who leaves the physical realm with a list of regrets.


BoJack Secretariat Running

BoJack, when you get sad, you run straight ahead and keep running forward, no matter what. There are people in your life that are gonna try to hold you back, slow you down, but you don’t let them. Don’t you stop running and don’t you ever look behind you. There’s nothing for you behind you. All that exists is what’s ahead.

In the BoJack universe, Secretariat is a renowned racehorse who is exposed for betting on races. He’s also BoJack’s childhood idol. This scenario is heartbreaking on two occasions, as it’s not only revealed that a young BoJack never heard his hero reply to his letter due to quarreling parents, but Secretariat himself couldn’t follow through on his own advice amidst scandal.

People have a tendency to dwell on the past, especially its negative aspects. It’s unwise to keep replaying those situations in your mind. You should always be looking forward, racing toward what you want, despite whatever obstacles may get in your way (naysayers, your own fears). What’s happened has already happened, and there’s nothing you can do to change it. All you can change is what’s to come.

Special Thanks

I want to thank Raphael Bob-Waksberg for creating such a wonderful series, and Todd VanDerWerff for penning the excellent piece that inspired me to give BoJack Horseman a try. The above quotes have given me much solace when I needed it, and I hope they can motivate you, too. And if you haven’t yet, watch BoJack Horseman on Netflix. There’s plenty of time to catch up before season 3 debuts in 2016!

The Monday Question:

What is your favorite inspirational quote from pop culture? Is there a TV show, book, song, or movie that features sage advice that you apply to your own life? Share these pearls of wisdom in the comments.

Til next Monday!

All base images c/o Netflix.

5 thoughts on “Motivation Monday: 4 Inspirational BoJack Horseman Quotes

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  4. That last one…. you know that scene ends with Secretariat killing himself right? I don’t think its because he couldn’t follow his own advice, but rather he did. He didn’t listen to the people trying to give valuable input in his life, he kept running. Things got hard, he kept running. Eventually life wasn’t worth living, and he ran from that too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi,

      Yes, I know how it ends. Of course, there’s a negative side to that coin — if you keep running from everything that gets in your way, you’ll never be able to overcome anything. On the other hand, you can also keep running toward your goal in spite of what negative words or actions are hurled your way. How you want to interpret it is up to you, but I think it can go either way. It didn’t work for Secretariat in his case, sadly. Thanks for reading.


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